I heard something these days – that made me stop for a second: ‘Half of my colleagues (she was a student) are thinking of or actually starting their own business.’ Wait, whaaat? 🙂 This was a student in the first year of college giving this answer.
This made me think – what drives these young people into building their own something? Would it be the ‘freedom mirage’ or a more acute sense of purpose than we had when we were 20? What I’ve learned over the years, when looking for ways to build my own something up, was that I was always full of ideas and I’ve always known that I’ll have something of my own someday.
I did not just have ideas (let’s sell ice-cream, even though that would have been great too) but good, sustainable business ideas, that would serve a specific need in the market, but what I’ve noticed was that it was never enough. Just thinking on ideas on how to make money on my own, was never a strong enough ‘WHY’ to get me moving. Until I’ve found one big purpose, a bigger WHY than myself, a cause that I could adhere to and do from my whole heart every day – all of the above were just wishes.
And it was as simple as that, in front of me, this whole time: I want to help people be their best and reach their true potential. I want to do this because I know how, because I’ve been through quite a few changing processes myself, on more levels, and I know it’s not easy, I know that we (most of us) do need some external help – I know I wished for one at the right time – and I know that by helping other people to become who they want to be, I will be fulfilled.
It’s not even about the money – they come as an extra/ bonus and they never should be, even if we build a product company or a service company.
So, if you are ‘looking for ideas to start a company’, before doing something else, stop and think for a (long) second: Try finding a purpose instead. When all the business systems will fail (and they will, at some point) your WHY, your purpose for opening the company, your will to bring that change to the world, will show you the way out. Your WHY should be so much stronger than building a revenue stream.
Don’t get me wrong, your will to build a company, without a sense of purpose, will get you what you want (money, most probably), but after you would have reached this goal, there will be nothing waiting for you there. You will need a new goal/ vision to keep you going and here, most of the people will realize they have what they wanted, but they are not happy.
Why? Because they never wanted or needed money, in the first place, they only thought they did. What they needed is a sense of purpose and /or belonging to a greater cause them themselves (and their financial stability), which in turn brings back not Happiness (which is contextual; it’s always tight in with an action/ success/ achievement), but Fulfillment – which is greater than happiness, it doesn’t serve the Ego and it touches the lives of other hundreds or thousands of people.
Find your Why, the greater good and you will not have just a company, but a catalyst to everyday change in people’s lives. And that is what all freelancers and entrepreneurs should aim for.
Business with a higher purpose. All big companies were built on it: Facebook – change how the people connect, Google – change how we use the internet, Apple – bring innovation to people’s lives, Microsoft – to empower people to do more, and so on to every single last one of them.